Friday, June 29, 2007
Though we are having a pretty slow and uneventful summer thus far, we are definitely feeling the crush as we look forward to what needs to happen in the next month and a half. I'm sure that The Chief and I are stressed about different things. Undoubtedly and understandably, The Chief is spending his worry moments thinking of the bar exam which is coming up in just about four weeks. He certainly is putting in his study time. I see less of him now than I did during school. He is a great studier! He has his rough days where he calls me half-way through the day to let me know that his brain has involuntarily turned off. I've advised him to schedule "vacation" days in between long stretches of studying, just so he doesn't go insane on me. Better to plan a mental retreat than to have one descend on you unexpectedly and at an inopportune time. The Chief is my hero! I am constantly in awe of how dedicated he is to his choice of career and the studying he does in order to get there. I don't think I could possibly concentrate on studies for as long as he does each day. I feel truly grateful to have a husband so willing to take care of our family. Other than studying, he does get away for an occasional nine holes of golf. Sometimes he goes solo, other times he golfs with his commiserating study buddies. I think his only other down time besides golf, is when he gets to play with his boys. He loves to tickle Bugga, sending him into peels of laughter and screeching. He often does this at the worst possible times (like when I'm trying to read scriptures for family scripture study...ahem), but it's endearing nonetheless. Bugga loves his Daddy and often rewards him with these huge, beaming smiles - the kind that I'm only graced with when I rescue him after nap time. :) Buddha is his Daddy's shadow when The Chief's at home. He loves to golf with him, color with him, climb on him, play cars with him, play catch with him, fall asleep on him, and the list goes on. It's good for boys to have fathers to learn to emulate. The Chief's a great one!
Buddha is my little chatter box with an astonishingly advanced vocabulary and increasingly impressive conversational skills. He's always making us laugh with his honesty and candidness and, of course, his pure innocence. The other day, we were returning from running errands in the evening and we were telling Buddha that it would be time to go night-night when we got home. Buddha replied, "First I gonna eat a bagel and cream cheese, then I will go to sleepy." It was so funny because he's obviously starting to grasp the concept of stall tactics when it comes to bed time and nap time. The amazing thing is that he seems to know that my one weakness is making sure that he has enough to eat. I don't ever want him to go to bed hungry, so even when he's eaten and I know he's satisfied, if he asks for food before bedtime, I have a hard time denying him. It pulls at my heartstrings. I guess it's good that I recognize it now as a stall tactic. :) Buddha loves to play with Bugga now. They follow each other around the house - Buddha taking stuff away from Bugga; Bugga tailing along behind Buddha, happily accepting his discarded and uninteresting toys. Buddha loves to pull Bugga around the carpet by his ankles and drape himself across Bugga's back to rest on him saying, "I love his fuzzy back" or "I love his fuzzy onesie" or "I love his belly, Mommy." I'm always reminding him to make sure Bugga can still breathe, but I don't think there's much danger in it, and, quite the contrary, it's quite heartwarming. We tried a little potty-training with Buddha a while ago, but he's not ready yet and I'm not willing to push it since we have a big move and lots of changes coming up that would probably just throw him off and cause him to revert. At least he tells me now when he's relieving himself and then asks me to change his diaper. It's a step in the right direction!
Bugga is our little GI Joe. He's all over the place. Scooting around the house in army fashion, growling all the while, pulling himself up on things (on his knees, not his feet). It's a bit wearing keeping him out of harm's way already. I'm sure it will only become even more tiring when he gets crawling and then walking. He's already banged his head a few times when falling over after pulling himself up on something. I'm convinced that some people who come to this earth probably require a few more guardian angels to watch out for them than others. At least I know I'll need a few more to help out with Bugga than I did with Buddha. I can think of a few friends of mine who probably needed a whole host of angels to keep them out of serious trouble (The Chief included - I'm sure Grandma will agree). :) Bugga is a great eater, and by great, I mean insatiable. He eats all the time! Besides eating three hearty solid food meals a day, he's still nursing four to five times a day. Sometimes I wonder if he has that disorder where he doesn't know when he's full. :) No, I'm just kidding. Our doctor says it's because he's so tall, he's got more area to fill out. He's seven months old now and weighing in at a whopping 19 lbs! He's grown out of all his clothes that he should be wearing and is now into nine month size clothes, though I'm not sure those will last very long either. He's really tall for his age, too, so that presents problems with onesies being too small for him (his height is in his torso). Oh well, I'll just always dress him in bigger clothes. It's really no big deal (no pun intended). Bugga is also sitting up now (see photos included below) though he rarely stays in this position for very long since he just can't stand to stay still! He's an explorer.
And what about Liz, you ask? Well, I'm busy taking care of my boys and our house and my books and our blog. :) My biggest stress, unlike The Chief's current concern, is the big move we're facing in just a few weeks. We still don't know where we're going to live or when we're going to go down to San Diego to look for a place to live or where we're going to stay when we go down to look or what we're going to do with our condo here when we leave. We do know that The Chief is starting work at the beginning of September, so we need to be moved to San Diego at the latest by mid-August. The Chief doesn't return from taking the bar until the end of July, so that leaves just two weeks to pack up and ship out. It's quite the daunting prospect. And so, most of the time, I just push it to the back of my brain, so as to keep from hyperventilating. :) We'll keep looking online at places and we'll pray that the right one for us will come along, putting us in a place where the Lord needs us. And we'll pray that everything else falls in line as well. I'm sure it will. We love you all and hope that all is well for our loved ones near and far!
Monday, June 25, 2007
1. Brooke is my freshman roommate
(comment name shows as "brooklet")
2. Angie is also my freshman roommate
3. Tiffany is a college roommate
(can't remember what year I was in school then)
4. Abby is a college roommate
(comment name shows as "abby")
5. Lisa F. is a friend from high school
(comment name shows as "lisa")
6. Lisa I. is a friend from high school
(comment name shows as "scottnlisa")
7. Karin is a friend from my old ward
(comment name shows as "scott & karin")
8. Jolene is a friend from that same old ward
(comment name shows as "jolene")
9. Kari is a friend from that same old ward
(comment name shows as "kari")
And, apart from family, those are the people who usually comment on our blog. We're glad they do...it's always fun to hear from our friends and family!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
....Then again, maybe they already had lowered the missionary age. Here's Unkey Dino when he received his mission call to Colombia.
I think he was 14. :)
Sunday, June 17, 2007
12 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup honey
2 cups grated carrots (4-6 carrots)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins (just omit if you don't like raisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, mix oil, applesauce, vanilla, honey, eggs, and carrots. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish or into two round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with applesauce over top or check out the honey cream cheese frosting recipe that makes a great topping!
I love you sooooo much...a lot! :) You are a wonderful man full of love, strength, compassion, intelligence, creativity, patience, and tenderness. I love you more today than I did the day we got married, but I think that I love you in a different way - a much more appreciative way. Every day we are together, I realize how much I need you. You make our family work. I'm a woman, so naturally I'm quite emotional. You are the stone - firm and immovable - that keeps our family strong and solid against the world day after day. You help me laugh at myself. You hold me when I need to cry. You provide for our two little ones and me - no questions asked. I can't imagine what it must be like to walk away from your home each day, leaving your loved ones behind as you pound out a living away from the support of your family. Just know this: every day we think about you, we talk about you, we pray for you, we love you, and we anticipate your return with gladness! You are a great example of hard work for our children and for me. Our boys love you so much! My favorite thing in the whole entire world is to watch you interacting with Buddha and Bugga. Buddha loves to "golf putt" with his Daddy, and Bugga is never so comfortable as when he's sitting on your lap, reclining on your belly, sucking away at his precious thumb. Every now and then I'll look up and catch him staring up at you adoringly. You are a wonderful husband, an amazing father, an awesome son, a great friend, a righteous priesthood leader, a dedicated student, and the list goes on. And they say women are better at multi-tasking!?! Thank you for being my best friend.
Here's what The Chief got for Father's Day....You know what they say, "The way to a man's heart, is through his stomach." I just hope that these fatty celebration meals don't go to his heart in a medically unsound way. :) This doesn't happen very often anyway, just ask The Chief. Jacqui, I hope seeing this makes you proud. :)
Yummy pot roast for dinner with potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic.
Cake for dessert - compliments of Mommy and Buddha.
Mmmm...whole wheat carrot cake with honey cream cheese frosting!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"What do you mean I'm too big?!" :) I couldn't resist taking the picture since I happened to have my camera on me. Classic.
This was the scene every time The Chief tried to get Buddha to jump to him from the side of the pool. :)
My cute boys! Check out that awesome tan line The Chief has acquired from many hours of golf! :)
Classic. What more can be said? It was perfect timing. God has a great sense of humor, I think.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
These pictures represent a very changed (and still changing) little boy. When Bugga was first born, Buddha was very protective of him, but not very demonstrative toward him. He always wanted to know where Bugga was, but he didn't want to hold him, or give him kisses, or even touch him for that matter. When Bugga would spit up or drool, Buddha would freak out and tell me to "WIPE IT!" Now, however, when Bugga wakes up from his nap and Buddha hears him talking, he'll jump up and say, "Go get Bugga, Mommy, I love him. I love his little tummy." He likes to pat Bugga and play with him, and today he spent a good portion of the day trapping Bugga under the laundry basket and laughing hysterically over it. Bugga tolerated his imprisonment very well.
Buddha is also becoming much more demonstrative with Mommy and Daddy. He likes to give me hugs now because...well, I'll give it to you in his words, "I like your fuzzy shirt, Mommy, I need a hug." His innocence and meekness put me to shame, especially when he tells me that I'm not being nice. Buddha has had to send me to the naughty spot a couple of times in the last week. Geez, he certainly learns faster than I do! :) He's always asking where The Chief is - it's practically the first thing out of his mouth when he wakes up in the morning, "Where's Daddy?" This morning I told him that Daddy was at class and Buddha solemnly corrected me, "No, he's at school studying for a bar!" It's amazing to me what he can pick up and comprehend when it's only been talked about in passing. Oh, today as I was making bread, Buddha climbed up on one of our kitchen stools and said, "Let's talk, Mommy." I said, "Okay, what do you want to talk about?" He replied, "Google Talk" (this is a downloaded program which allows us to talk to anyone, anywhere via the Internet). I got a big kick out of that. We like to get on there and talk to Granny and Grandpa in Guatemala.
So, what have I learned this past week? I'll never again think that I've escaped "terrible twos," and I'll probably struggle for a while here as I learn patience, but at the end of the day, I still love and adore my little family! They are my life, my light, my happiness, my laughter, and my joy. And all these negatives each day are just tiny pinpricks compared to the love I have for my little ones (and my big one, of course). :)
Well, it's late and no matter how frantically I type, my brain is shutting down faster. :) I've written this post at the peril of sounding like the best candidate for "Worst Mom of the Year," but I hope you can read past my ranting and see that I'm learning right along with my children. I have a plan to give Buddha more one-on-one time with Mommy and hopefully that will help to satisfy his need for attention from me. He needs to know that I love him and the best way for me to show him that is to spend time with him, I think. Well friends, if I've forgotten anything, I'm not so sure I'll remember it later, but if I do, I'll add it in another installment. Toodle-oo.
HEARTY, NUTTY, HEALTHY GRANOLA
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds (don't chop too small)
1/2 cup chopped pecans/walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts
1/8 cup hemp seeds (get at local health food store - great source of omega fatty acids!)
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl stir together all ingredients down to, and including, cinnamon. In a small saucepan, melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring often, until thin and syrupy. Add vanilla and pour liquid over oat mixture. Stir until well-combined.
Spread granola over a large baking/cookie sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes* to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp (about 25 minutes for us). Granola will crisp more as it cools. If you want to, you can now add dried fruits, raisins, or dates.
Serve with milk, on plain yogurt, as a trail mix...any way you like, really! I love to eat mine mixed with plain yogurt and fresh slices of strawberry. Mmmmm...I'm making myself hungry. Enjoy!
*Our method is to set the timer for 5 minutes and take cookie sheet out to mix granola after each 5 minutes. Then set the timer for another 5 minutes - all the way to 25 minutes. If this makes no sense since it's late and I'm tired, then just do it whatever way works best for you! :)
First of all, head down to your local grocer and pick up some White Whole Wheat Flour (at Wal-Mart we get "Wheat Montana" Prairie Gold White Whole Wheat Flour). It is ground from a whiter kernel than your regular whole wheat flour, so it's lighter and less bitter. This recipe makes one loaf of bread. If your mixer can handle it, go ahead and double or triple it (or more if you're especially blessed with an industrial strength mixer!). :)
WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
Combine the following dry ingredients in a bowl:
3 Cups + 2 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Wheat Gluten
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Yeast (SAF Yeast is the best. We get ours at the Bosch Kitchen Center)
(Add 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds here if you like nutty bread. We highly recommend it!)
Combine in another bowl
1 and 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp Hot Water
2 Tbsp Applesauce
1 Tbsp Honey
Mix dry and wet ingredients together in mixer, then allow mixer (if yours is strong enough) to knead dough for 5 minutes. If you don't have a strong enough mixer (like me), then just hand-knead your dough for 5-10 minutes. Grease your bread pan with butter, then mold your dough into the bread pan. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 1 hour (2 hours if making nutty bread).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pop bread into oven for 30 minutes. Remove bread from bread pan promptly after taking it out of the oven so that it doesn't sweat and get soggy as it cools. Cool on its side on a cooling rack. Slice, slather with butter, and enjoy this guiltless creation!
Monday, June 4, 2007
Buddha can make Bugga laugh faster than anyone else.
Here he is entertaining him while I get his food ready.